Friday, May 29, 2009

My 2 Cents Worth

A month or so ago I posted about trying to talk my GMAC credit card down from their after introductory rate of 17.99% and when they wouldn't budge I paid the account off with another card that was offering 0% AND no transfer fee. In all the paying off mess I ended up still owing a bit over $2 in accrued interest and sent a check for that amount.

Last week I called to officially close the account. I was once again reminded that I was a valued customer and that they would hate to lose me and probed again as to why I was closing the account. They started telling me of all the benefits and asked what they could do to keep me as a customer. I simply said they could have dropped their rate under 10% 2 months ago. Even after I told them that I was trying to pay off all my debt the person offered to raise my limit. They were following the script so close they didn't hear what I said.

When I finally convinced them that I wanted to close the account for good I was told that I had a 2 cent credit. I asked them to mail me a check. So today I opened a letter that contained a check for 2 cents. Do I cash it? Do I deposit it? Or do I keep it as a reminder of how impersonable the credit card industry has become? Maybe try to cash it once we pay off our final credit card in about 5 months. NICE!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

$3 Newspaper

It wasn't long ago that I faced a dilemna, pay 75 cents for the USA Today or just 50 cents for the Dallas Morning News. I still quartered up for the USA Today. That was about 2 years ago when the Sunday paper was still $1.50 for one and $2 for 2. I stopped in yesterday to get Sunday's paper just for the coupons. Guess what? This Sunday paper didn't have the coupons this go around. I don't know if I was more mad at the $3, the no coupons, or a combination of both.

I understand readership to newspapers that you actually hold is on a sharp decline, but wont raising your price so sharply, so quickly decrease a dwindling readership base even faster?

The best deal I saw 2 years ago was at the Texas State Fair when the Dallas Morning News was giving $50 in fair vouchers away for a 13 week subscription for about the same price. I didn't see that deal this year. You know I looked for it too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

2 Tacos for 99 cents

I grew up in St. Louis and when I was old enough to drive I often visited the Jack In the Box drive thru and took advantage of the 2 tacos for 99 cents sale. Now they are always 99 cents, what a value. I do like the deep fried appetizers and they are only 3 points each on the Weight Watchers plan. Yesterday while we were watching TV we saw a commercial spotlighting the 2 tacos for 99 cents. When they displayed the 2 tacos my wife and I both immediately laughed and made some snide remark that we've never seen a Jack In the Box taco that looked that fresh.

My wife made these when she worked there and when they went on sale 2 for 99 cents she said people would order 50 at a time. Kind of like ordering White Castles for the party. They are premade, frozen and deep fried. When they were done frying she had to pull the hot taco tips apart to squeeze in a 1/2 slice of american cheese, lettuce and hot sauce. She talked about how she couldn't feel her finger tips for days. On TV the lettuce looked juicy and fresh. In reality those tacos basically fuze the cheese and lettuce together. They are almost like little deep fried empanadas.

No complaints about false advertising because I love those tacos. Just ask BillyV how much I like them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Ballgame

Last night I had 4 free tickets to see the Frisco Roughriders. They are a AA minor league affiliation to the Texas Rangers. My school participated in an MVP program for 5th graders and I benefited from it as well. It was the perfect night for baseball and my son and I went with a friend of the family and his son.

We made it to about the 6th inning. My son did really well staying in his seat and watching the ballgame. His dinner included a kids hotdog pack for $4.50 which included a hotdog, chips and a drink. Not bad for ballpark prices. He also ended up with cotton candy which turned into a sugar disaster. I saw some of my students at the game.

This ballpark is perfect for taking the family to. They have a package for $29 and it includes 4 tickets, 4 McDonalds value meals and 4 hats. Every seat in the park is a great one as well.

Tonight I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Cardinals and Cubs were on WGN. Tomorrow night they will play on ESPN. NICE! Now if they would only win.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Family In Town

Picked up my parents from the airport Thursday night. My dad helped me mow and then they watched the kids that night. Friday night was my son's ballgame and we went out for pizza afterwards with a good friend and his family. Durkin's is GREAT stuff. Saturday rained out our ballgame, Trade Days and teacher appreciation day at the Heard Museum. Saturday night we did dinner and Sunday they flew home.

My dad and I were to meet the rest of the family Saturday at 5:15 at an On the Border nearby. As I pulled up I noticed the lot was near empty. As we waited for my wife and family we were approached by a manager saying they were closed for "routine" maintenance....meaning....they got shut down for something. EcoLab, a food sanitization company, had 4 trucks parked out back so they were taking care of something. The manager handed us a $10 voucher for any other visit along with a card for FREE chili con queso. I quickly called my wife and we planned to meet at a different OTB.

I had a $25 giftcard, we had a $10 voucher and we got free queso. My mom covered the $3 overage on the bill and we left an $11 tip. Great dinner for very little cost. NICE!

Family = GOOD

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Family In Town

My parents came to visit today and the sole purpose is to visit the grandkids with the intent of seeing one of my son's ball games. He doesn't hit from a tee anymore so I dropped the TEE part. Some kids still do though. Today I took a personal day just to pick them up from the airport. I had intended on mowing early, but woke up to heavy storms. Plan B was to work out, pick up my daughter and pick up the grandparents. Their flight was delayed an hour so we actually stopped at McD's on the way.

Grandparents watched the kids tonight as my wife and I had 2 different agendas. I had staff appreciation dinner at La Hacienda Ranch and my wife met with a special friend for the evening. I made it home by 9pm and as of 10:45pm my wife is still unaccounted for and must be having a great time.

I really appreciate the effort my parents put forth in seeing my kids. These are good times and they are creating some special memories. My kids are almost 8 and 5 respectively and they will most likely remember these times. I know for sure I will! We'll have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I, like many people across the country it seems, printed of the coupons for the free 2 piece grilled chicken meal for KFC the other day. It seems OPRAH did some promotion and you could print up to 4 coupons within a 24 hour window period for this meal, no restrictions other than it couldn't be used on Mother's Day. Can't imagine taking mom to KFC for her favorite meal.

Tonight I figured we would go for a cheap dinner since I had 3 of these coupons. It would be plenty of food for my family. When we walkd up I saw the sign saying they were only offering rainchecks and not chicken since the promotion was overwhelmingly successful.

My dilemna at that time was to figure out where we were going to eat dinner. No way was I going to spend $15-$20 on KFC. I really just don't like the place well enough to spend that kind of money. Instead we went to Scotty P's for chicken strips and their skin on french fries. We had a great time and only spent $17 for fresh food.

We had fun waiting for our food. I started a game using the device they give you that vibrates when your order is ready. We took turns pretending like it was something else. Ideas included: a Wii remote, electric shaver, nail trimmers, stun gun, tv remote, a gun, guitar, cell phone. The kids actually did pretty well with it. It buzzed when my son had it so he "lost", but said he won!

Monday, May 11, 2009

NO Donuts?

Sunday morning I had a flashback to the late 80's when I was with BillyV and we stopped by Church's Chicken one day and was told it would be 13 minutes before we could order some chicken, they ran out. WHAT? It was a chicken place.

Well on our way to church I stopped by the local Yummy Donuts for a quick, light breakfast. Didn't want a heavy breakfast that would ruin a Mother's Day lunch. To save time I took orders from my family before pulling up to a front row parking spot. I walked in to see a near empty display case. So much for 2 cinnamon rolls, chocolate donut holes. All they had were kolaches, pretzel dogs, an apple fritter, 10 plain donut holes, a coffee flavored long john and about 12 plain cake donuts.

I ordered 3 kolaches(what the wife wanted), a pretzel dog(daughter ate), an apple fritter(my son chowed, and the remaining donut holes. I got in the truck and asked for the donut holes only to be told there weren't any. I went back in an asked about the donut holes and was told the lady behind me ordered them.

What a rough visit to the donut shop. Not only did I not get what I originally wanted, but didn't get the donut holes I thought I settled for. My wife did share a kolache with me and it was good, but who would have thought a donut shop would run out of donuts by 10:20am on a Sunday. Darn Baptists!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

5 of a Kind

I hosted cards tonight and during one hand a player asked another person who was out what he thought. He said he would probably fold. She then brought more attention to the kind of card she had in her hand and then we had a dilemna pop up. During Texas Hold Em there was a 9 of clubs on the table AND she had a 9 of clubs in her hand. WHAT?????

We suspended play and checked things out. The deck of cards was from Palace Station Hotel and Casinos or I have no idea where that is. Anyway I bought the deck from The Dollar Bee which was going out of sale a few months ago.

After we suspended play we found out that there were 6 nines in the deck. 2 hearts and 2 clubs. For that hand we just refunded the money and laughed about it. Kind of crazy really.

Tonight I broke my adkins diet of no carbs and plan on shifting to more of a Weight Watcher's diet where I will count points. I'm down to 204 and knocking on the door of under 200. Hope I can keep it up!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I Didn't Love, "I Love You Man"

Took a much needed day off just to rest mentally and emotionally. It has been a rough few months for me professionally. After dropping my daughter off at school I took my truck to have the tires rotated. While waiting I walked to my nearby gym and worked out.

Afterwards I went with a friend to see I Love You Man. Decent storyline, decent actors, soaked with unnecessary profanity. Must have heard 30 "F" words. Awkward at times sitting through it.

I then watched a 2nd movie, Wolverine X Men. I liked this one MUCH better and I've never seen any of the X-Men movies. If I didn't have a tee ball game tonight I would have went with old church friends to see Star Wars.

My son got the game ball tonight. He was 2 for 2 at the plate with one true double. He also caught one ball in the field.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

$60 wipers, REALLY?

No wonder the Big 3 are in trouble. GM feels the need to build a car that requires $30 to replace EACH wiper blade. My wife's car is one year old and the rubber on the wipers are coming apart and do about a half way job so I went on a quest to replace them. First stop, O'Reilly Auto Parts. I bought 2 recommended Bosch wipers and walked about to put them on. I struggled in front of the store so I figured I'd take them home to do the job in private. No luck getting them on. Took em back and even the guy couldn't get them on. Next stop, AutoZone(It's always going to be AutoSHACK to me). They didn't have them.

The next day I drove to the Pontiac dealer and he said $60 plus tax, but he didn't have them in stock. WOW! All it needs is the refill that easily slides in the arm. BUT NO, they don't make it and you have to buy the whole thing. It should be a $10 or less fix and it's not. That night I drove to NAPA and bought 2 wiper blades and paid $45 with tax. They fit and work so now it can rain and my wife will be able to see.

That is ridiculous that replacing wipers on a yearly basis is going to cost me $45. Almost more expensive than buying tires for the car. A thief would slide the rubber out of new ones and and replace them with the olds ones before returning them for a refund. It would take a month or 2 before they realized they'd been had.

Imagine if I wanted some high performance triple blade wipers.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Catching Up

21 days of school left IF we don't close down for the Flu thing like many districts around us have done.

A parent bought me a carb-free lunch today only to accidentally give it to her son's other teacher. My lunch was after hers so I missed out on grilled chicken and veggies. Her lunch....pasta.

Another parent who had a running tab on my team's lunches since January sent us bill that said Paid in Full for teacher appreciation week. I was graced $67 worth. The grade level tab was just over $366. WOW! I joked that I would have eaten a LOT more if I had known that. (:

I dabbled with Facebook for a while. It's not me. I do like taking quizzes, but don't feel the need to tell everyone what I'm doing at various times of the day. Also, my neighbor wanted to know why I didn't accept her as a "friend." Felt kind of like middle school stuff with accepting, rejecting or ignoring friend requests. She then went on to tell us that she broke the 300 friend barrier. Wouldn't that be acquaintance or I at least know your name barrier?

Love that a longshot 50-1 Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby.

Thought I was going to have to repair my weed eater until I noticed that the "kill" switch was stuck on kill. "That's why it wouldn't start after 100 pulls."

Of the 21 days left I'll probably take at least 2 off........NICE!